Seth Rogen, the prominent Hollywood actor, comedian, producer, and director, recently said on an episode of the podcast “WTF” that he is scared of Jews and Israel probably shouldn’t exist.
Rogen, who grew up attending Jewish schools and camps, had an hour-long conversation with “WTF” podcast host Marc Maron. The two, who are ethnically Jewish, used almost all their time picking apart pieces of Jewish culture and religious tradition.
Maron, who has made fun of his Jewish heritage for standup comedy in the past, agreed with Rogen that Jews largely grow up believing lies about their history. The two talked about Israel, first warning that they were about to “piss of a bunch of Jews.” The actor said the fact the modern state of Israel was created where Palestinians had lived was never included in his education.
“I was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life! They never tell you that — oh by the way, there were people there. They make it seem like it was just like sitting there, like the f-cking door’s open,” Rogen said.
The conversation took turns from stereotyping Jews — the two said Jews are all either “the proletariat peasant Jew,” the “composer Jew,” or the “math Jew” — to Jewish dating and marriage advice, all the way to mocking the ritual of Shiva.
Shiva is the week-long mourning period that Judaism allows for the death of first-degree relatives. The longstanding tradition lasts seven days after the burial of a loved one. The practice has Old Testament biblical roots, when Jacob’s son Joseph is told to spend seven days observing his father’s passing, among other examples.
Rogen and Maron said Shiva was good because it “forces you to eat.” “As silly as Noah’s Ark is, this is not silly, this is actually like a very well thought out, practical protocol to do after someone dies, whether you believe in it or not,” Rogen said.
Rogen questioned the entire purpose of the state of Israel, adding that he would never want to live there.
“I think religion is silly. If it is for truly the preservation of Jewish people, it makes no sense, because again, you don’t keep something you’re trying to preserve all in one place — especially when that place is proven to be pretty volatile, you know?” he said.
According to a Haaretz poll released in December 2019, 51 percent of Israeli Jews believe American Jews aren’t supportive enough of the state of Israel. This type of antisemitic conversation matters, wrote David Harsanyi in National Review.
“Maron has more downloads than any cable news-show host has viewers. More than the top-rated Tucker Carlson. More than the entire slate of CNN hosts on any given evening. We should assume that a number of his listeners — many of them young and ordinarily uninterested in politics — might take a stoner’s quasi-coherent ideas seriously,” Harsanyi noted.
Harsanyi criticized Rogen’s factually incorrect ideas concerning Israel and the “other people” who had formerly inhabited the Holy Land. Harsanyi called the type of propaganda Rogen and Maron pushed a “left-wing tradition,” and noted their ignorance about how Israel was reconstituted after the World Wars.
“Israel was the haven not only for those who escaped the Ukrainian Pale or the Holocaust, but for African Jews who were rescued from the Communist-generated famines of Ethiopia; for hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern Jews who, after centuries, were forced to flee the Islamic world after 1948; and for largely secular Soviet Jews in the 1970s and 1980s, who had often been imprisoned for speaking their minds,” Harsanyi noted. “At one time or another, Jews had been abandoned and denied basic rights of citizenship by virtually every nation that ruled over them.”
According to Harsanyi, the kind of antisemitic attacks that Rogen and so many other leftists conduct tears down the only place in the Middle East that truly respects the rights of individuals, gay people, minorities, and women. And it looks like the left isn’t pulling back any time soon.